General Non-Fiction posted October 13, 2017


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Working in the yard

The Joy of Pulling Weeds

by amada



Winter is gone. There is no more a band of white at the top of my mountain. The tree branches are shimmering in the sweet moisture of a spring morning. I bless the day I am living now. What a better way to celebrate than to step outside to the sun, to the light, to my garden.

I wear heavy gloves, a rigger's hat, bold hiking boots, and carry a macho shovel. These are my gardening instruments.

My lady-like days of delicately picking stray weeds are done. Heavens, I looked more like a gentle lady at a beach resort. Delicate at the touch of a slight layer of ladylike sunblock on my arms, delicate at the pinkish color of my gracious gardening gloves, delicate at the feeble way I pulled weeds not to bother my fresh red acrylic nails.

Delicate, oh so delicate.

Some weeds are easy to loosen up. One pull and they are out, roots and dirt and worms. Others, difficult to take away from their grip on the earth, they put quite a fight. Just like in life, some stuff is easy to let go, others stay and thrive until we apply of mightier force.

These days, I am stronger and wiser, I hope. I am promoting myself to higher and loftier duties: to dig deep, to clean and boost with grace and beauty the space around those hard-wearing weeds. I think of myself as a newly minted yard artist.

A four-week class on "yard improvement" at the local county hall is paying off nicely. Lectures, demonstrations, glossy slides taught to perceive, for example, the asymmetry of a tree--why a rebellious spiraling twig deviates the graceful flow of the rhythm between the nurturing tree trunk and its bronzed breezy branches. Oh yes, poetry right there in nature!

Sometimes I feel guilty: I am rearranging flora...but then I take a step back, like a sculptor would, and I admire my very own nascent masterpiece. I feel like a genie. Magic, oh yes, I see magic in the midst of an overbearing blueberry bush.

I love kneeling down and spending time with the soil, feeling its weight as it sifts under my gloves. The sound of the scratching and scrapping as I begin to break up the dry ground, a symphony. I love to lift up stones to look what there is underneath. I admire the movements of the ants, scurrying around, maybe passing secret messages to each other.

Digging deep, I can touch the many intricacies of long tree roots, traveling like a silent underground highway. I feel like a nature inspector!

I observe two yellow garden snakes twirling in the sun, then I turn over an old cracked pot just sitting by and I see three still sweet snails just sitting there, I feel like an intruder!

In between tasks I take breezy breaks. I lie in the lazy grass as the sun sweeps low. I love the green smell of fresh air in my hair! I feel like a newborn child. Oh yes, I am a painter, as well. Or maybe, a very sarcastic sculptor.

You tell me.
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